Orthotopic liver transplantation for acute and subacute hepatic failure in adults



The role of liver transplantation in 29 patients with fulminant and subacute hepatic failure due to a variety of different causes was examined by comparing the outcome and a variety of “hospitalization” variables. Transplanted patients (n = 13) were more likely to survive (p < 0.05), were younger (p < 0.05) and spent more time in the hospital (p < 0.025) than did those who were not transplanted (n = 16). Despite spending a much longer time in the hospital, transplanted patients spent less time in the intensive care unit (p < 0.05) in coma (p < 0.01) and on a respirator (p < 0.01) than did those not transplanted. Most importantly, the survival rate for transplanted patients was significantly improved (p < 0.05) as compared to those not transplanted. We conclude that liver transplantation can be applied successfully to the difficult clinical problem of fulminant and subacute hepatic failure.